The following is an excerpt from a letter written in 1850 by Lucy Bigelow-Armstrong to her husband, John McIntire Armstrong, while he was on one of his trips to Washington D.C. on Indian affairs.
My Dear Husband,
I wrote to you by last Fri. mail and addressed my letter to Wash. but supposing it probable that by this time you have left there from your letter of the 13th I have concluded to write again and direct it to St. Louis. Our darling babe died last Wed. evening and was buried the next. Oh! it was so hard to part with him in your abasence. I am desolate and weeary and am so unwell that I can scarce get about. Claire is sick and I am afraid she will not recover. I want you to bring white marble grave stones with the word Infant Son of etc. aged 2 months.
"Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not etc."or William S. or Silas W. aged etc. That was the only name we talked of together and the children sometimes called him Willy.
When Claire was well she wanted me to write to pa to bring her a little chair but I negleted it. She wants to see you and has said sever times today that 'Pa is coming'. God grant that she may live to see you come. The doctor thinks that her case is dangerous and that she needs great care and I am not able to nurse her as I should. Oh! that you were here.
Claire rested better last night and is free from fever and, her cough is looser this morning but she has no appetite.
I hope that she will recover now. I do not expect you have raised means to purchase much, but if you have I should like you to get some at least of the following articles.
The doctor has just been here and says that Claire is still feverish.
My dear husband must not be scared of the above list I do not want you to bring them if you are unable.